Slang dictionary

909

[nahyn oh nahyn] or [nahyn zeer-oh nahyn]

What does 909 mean?

909 is a telephone area code that covers the general area around the city of San Bernardino. Some residents use 909 to rep their hometown while Californians outside the area often use 909 to slur San Bernardino people as white trash.

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Where does 909 come from?

909
worldatlas.com

The 909 area code started service in Southern California in 1992. It overlaps parts of four major counties, including San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside, though it’s mostly centered around the city of San Bernardino.

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In 2004, many phone numbers were split from area code 909 and reassigned to the 951 area code that covers neighboring Riverside, California.

By 2017, due to an expanding population in the region, the 909 area code was nearly out of available phone numbers, with a new area code slated within the current 909 area by late 2018.

dailybulletin.com

Examples of 909

Lol a guys tryna surf a long board in Huntington rn 😂😂😂 #909er
@christian_castt, July, 2014
A free class discussing Native Californians will be held Wednesday from 10 am-12:30 pm at Ontario Museum of History & Art, 225 S. Euclid Ave. The class is the first of the museum’s seven-week docent training sessions that for the first time are open to the public. 909-395-2510
@JoeBlackstock, May, 2018
On a sunny September day, Christina Ayres lay on the sand near the Huntington Beach Pier, tanning in a pink bikini, and ticked off the things that identify a 909er...Bad clothing — " 'Jersey Shore' style," the 29-year-old explained. And meth addicts. "That's what you hear on the news."
Paloma Esquivel, The Los Angeles Times, September, 2013
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Who uses 909?

909, of course, is used in actual telephone numbers. The geographic area the 909 area code covers is sometimes called the 909 and people who live there, 909ers.

909 can be used with pride …

… or, more often, disparagement, as residents in SoCal’s wealthier coastal communities sometimes use 909 to insult people from San Bernardino and inland Southern California more generally as “backwater” and “white trash”:

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Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of 909 like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of 909 that will help our users expand their word mastery.